A FAT CHICK WEIGHS IN ON MATTEL’S NEW ‘CURVY’ BARBIES
OK, deep breath: It’s taken me a long time — maybe 30 years, at least — to actually come out and say this, but for most of my life, I have been, and I am, what you’d call “the fat chick.”
And let’s just get this out of the way: Yes, I will be using that other F-word, fat, in this post. It is a word, just a word.
If it offends you, pretend I’m saying “curvy” or whatever other word has been designated PC for people like me.
It’s my post, and I can fat if I want to because ‘merica.
Now back to my regularly scheduled posting:
I’ll even pat myself on the back a bit and modify that to “the funny fat friend,” you know, the typical self-deprecating “jolly” fat person, a la John Candy or Chris Farley, before you remember the demons that plagued the latter, of course. Hell, maybe I’ve even been “a DUFF,” the “designated ugly fat friend” (as seen in that 2015 teen comedy starring Mae Whitman), who my more popular/thinner friends may have wanted around in an effort to make themselves feel better about themselves because of their own insecurity issues (everyone has some hangup or another, you know).
I may consider myself fat, because I am, but I don’t think myself ugly. In fact, I think I am downright adorable a lot of the time, and knowing is half the battle, according to my beloved “G.I. Joe” ’80s cartoon.
Sure, I long for the not-so-long ago days when I was happy with my weight, some 40+ pounds ago, but guess what? Despite my looks, which, when we truly come down to it, shouldn’t really be the measuring stick of who I am — sorry, who OTHERS think I am — I (1.) somehow still found my soulmate, the person who brings out and pushes me to be my very best, with whom I never, ever have to pretend to be something I’m not, (2.) have a family that loves and supports me, (3.) a job I enjoy, and (4.) an outlet for my creativity with this here “High Regard Show” podcast/website. Can everyone say that? Didn’t think so.
It took me a long time to get to the point where I have come to terms with how I look on the outside, a lifetime, really, thanks to that tall, leggy, thin blonde ideal that’s been plaguing and shaming women like me for decades. You know, the Barbie standard, in which women can be anything they want — Doctor Barbie! Astronaut Barbie! Business Barbie! — so long as they are thin.
Hey, speaking of Barbie, it turns out the perky-breased, stick-insect-shaped doll whose unrealistic proportions are often credited with introducing young girls to body-image issues is undergoing a makeover to be more on-point with what many real women actually look like.
Mattel, the maker of Barbie, announced Thursday it will release tall, curvy and petite body types for Barbie’s Fashionistas line. The new Barbs will also come in seven skin tones, 22 eye colors, 24 hairstyles and “countless on-trend fashions and accessories,” the company said in a press release.
“These new dolls represent a line that is more reflective of the world girls see around them — the variety in body type, skin tones and style allows girls to find a doll that speaks to them,” Barbie’s Senior Vice President and Global General Manager Evelyn Mazzocco said. “We believe we have a responsibility to girls and parents to reflect a broader view of beauty.”
I think this is great, and I applaud Mattel for making a change that, honestly, should’ve occurred eons ago, but, hey, at least it’s happening.
It may take a while, if it even happens at all, but maybe future girls won’t have to grow up feeling ashamed of their bodies. It seems like a promising thought because the revolution has already started happening with curvy girls becoming more prominent in fashion and the world at large with inspiring women like Tess Holliday, who founded the Eff Your Beauty Standards movement, and countless others.
Maybe we’re fat because we have health issues, or maybe we just like late-night munchies and great food, but we curvy girls deserve a place in this world just like everyone else. Like Barbie, who now comes in all shapes and sizes, we, too, can do and be anything … just as we’ve been all along.
The new Barbies will be available in stores this spring, but can be pre-ordered now.